USB 2.0 ports are a pretty common denominator when it comes to your PC or Mac, and so it becomes obvious that we should already be talking about the next logical step in the technology, right? Actually, in this case, we’re looking beyond even that, and talking about what Intel sees as the successor to USB 3.0: Light Peak. The upcoming Intel standard was originally meant to bridge other upcoming standards, but according to Kevin Kahn –an Intel senior company fellow–, all of that could change with the implementation of the Light Peak standard.
Intel’s Light Peak standard is a 10Gbps peripheral standard, which, as noted above, was meant to suitably link up other standards; but as Kahn put it, while speaking at Intel’s Developer Forum in Beijing, he sees it as a replacement to the 5Gbps standard of USB 3.0. When will this change occur? He sees it starting to take hold in 2011. Also noteworthy, Kahn seemed to believe that not only would Light Peak replace USB 3.0, but also any other standard that may be released in the future.
As for release dates of the Light Peak standard, Kahn made sure to note that component makers would get their hands on it in late 2010, and consumer-ready PCs would be ready to go by some time early in 2011. Seen as a complementary standard to USB 3.0 right now, it’s mainly utilized as a method to reduce the number of connections inside a computer. There are some that believe that Light Peak may be utilized in upcoming Apple devices, such as the iPhone 4G (or whatever it’s going to be called), which could mean syncing to iTunes would only take a fraction of the time it currently does on USB 2.0. Our fingers are crossed that this turns out to be true.